The musical Les Miserables has just made its way from Melbourne and Perth, and we had the chance to catch up with leading star Emily Langridge and talk about her latest role. Read on for more.
What’s so great about your latest character, Coisette?
Cosette is definitely my favourite character I’ve played to date. I’ve played some great roles while I was studying at WAAPA (the Western Australian Academy of the Arts) including Kira in Xanadu, which was crazy fun, but being in Les Mis and playing this role has always been on my bucket list. The character actually has so much more depth and detail than people might initially think, my songs are so beautiful, I really get to stretch my range vocally and to play the romantic interest in this show is really special amidst so much hardship, to get to find hope and light and fall in love is really amazing.
How many hours a day does it take to prepare for a musical – what is your rehearsal routine?
When we were in the rehearsal period of the show, we were in the rehearsal room from 10am til 6pm. Then you go into technical rehearsals in the theatre, and those are around 10hrs rehearsing a day. When the show opens, the principals don’t usually have rehearsals unless there is an event coming up or something like a vocal clean up call, but we usually have notes and run a few specific moments or scenes before most shows.
Do you get nervous before you hit the stage? What do you do to calm yourself down?
I don’t get nervous day to day anymore, but our first preview back in Melbourne I was pretty terrified! I also get those excited nerves on opening nights. I try to keep myself grounded and focused day to day before a show so I’m really present in the show, so I often meditate, do some yoga, read something inspiring, light a candle and spray some chakra balancing oils to help centre myself. I’m a bit of a hippie when it comes to being in the moment!
Do you have any rituals that you do before you go out on stage?
I try not to eat too much within a few hours of the show as I wear a corset on stage. A big meal makes it difficult to do up, and can make me feel sick so I try to stick to something like soup or salad. I drink loads of water, and even more tea. I’m a tea fiend! Liquorice tea and lemon/ginger/tulsi with manuka honey are my favourites. On a double show day I’ll have a nap and a shower and maybe watch a movie on my laptop. I’ll also light a candle, do a meditation and pick an angel card that gives me a word to focus my intentions towards for the night.
How do you make sure you look your best every time you hit the stage – do you have any secret beauty tips you can share?
Water, exercise and sleep are my biggest beauty tips, but not really a secret! I drink litres and litres a day, and the more sleep I get the better. During tech or rehearsals I try and sneak power naps whenever I can, because it’s so easy to get run down. I love doing yoga, I feel like it gets me centred and grounded and gives me a good glow, all the inversions really get the circulation going.
When I’m not on stage I wear very little makeup to let my skin breathe. I use Aspect face products which I love and use morning and night. I don’t use any harsh scrubs or masks, but I love Blackout face masks which are basically just coconut oil, aloe vera and activated charcoal.
Do you need to watch what you eat when you’re part of a show?
I do try and watch what I eat when I’m in a show. It’s extremely strenuous and stressful, even though it’s not a dance show Les Mis is highly physical and mentally stimulating so it’s really important to be at your physical and mental best. We can’t afford to get sick or be off our game, and food really is your best medicine. I definitely slip off the band wagon at times, I LOVE chips! But usually I try to eat smaller meals frequently throughout the day, I drink a lot of water, I don’t really have sugar or processed foods. I don’t really eat meat, I have heaps of leafy greens and I love a big salad or soup. I drink a lot of green smoothies and cold pressed green juices as well.
What about exercise?
I don’t like going running or to the gym very much, I love going to yoga, especially power and aerial yoga, and I love pilates. It’s important to exercise but also important not to overdo it and I find yoga and pilates the perfect balance.
Do you find it hard to eat and exercise properly when you’re on the road all the time?
It can be very difficult to eat and exercise well when you’re touring, especially staying in apartments and not having all the facilities and equipment you would at home. I travel with a nutribullet and find that so helpful to make quick smoothies/nut butters/dips/soups etc. Luckily I live close to an Aboutlife organic shop and there are lots of cold pressed juice shops around so that helps a lot! I also research when I’m going somewhere new where the nearest yoga and pilates studios are and try and go as much as I can. Walking to explore the city is great exercise too!
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve picked up from a makeup artist?
I’ve picked up lots of great beauty tips from makeup artists it’s hard to pick just one! But my favourite product I’ve bought since having a makeup artist use on me is Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat pen – it is a serious miracle! I use it under my eyes, on my brow bone, the centre of my nose, to highlight my cheeks and above my top lip and it really helps you look brighter and more awake, without getting that sparkly fake shine some highlighters can give.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to people looking to get into your industry?
The best advice I can offer is work hard, be kind, and never give up. Don’t let fear of rejection hold you back, and don’t let ‘rejection’ get you too down. You are so much more than just your craft, you are an incredible individual so go into an audition room and show that. Go in pretending that it’s your first day of work, you’ve already got the job and just show them how cool, talented, and easy to work with you are. Be kind to EVERYONE, you never know who might have a say in whether you get the job or not. And if you don’t land the first job, it just means it wasn’t the right one for you. The universe has got your back and if you trust it, and trust yourself, you’ll get to where you’re meant to be.
Who is your favourite Les Mis character, and why? Tell us in the comments below.